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Dear Dugoni School Family,

Congratulations to several of our students for their contributions to the April Contour magazine from the American Student Dental Association.

Pedrom Mashaw wrote a profile of alumnus Dr. Bill Dorfman (page 6); Anthoula Vlachos penned a story about sports dentistry (page 24), and Sharynne Isys Alfonso and Patrick Gomez shared their thoughts in the “Probing Question” section (page 48).

Thanks to these students, and others throughout the year, who took the time to share their voices with fellow students and colleagues from across the country.

Building your transparency and communication skills is critically important as a leader. When we communicate in an honest and clear manner, we alleviate fears and provide hope. Frequent and honest communication is reassuring, and I applaud our students for building your networks and for your communication.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Happy Friday morning. I hope you enjoyed our first full week of April as our Spring quarter moves into full swing. I want to congratulate our Dental Hygiene students and their faculty mentors on the research presentations completed this week.  I was able to attend a few of the virtual presentations on Wednesday and was impressed by the preparation and professionalism of our Dental Hygiene students.  Keep up the great work.

Congratulations to our student Pedrom Mashaw DDS ‘22, who recently created and launched the “Dental Giants” podcast to help inspire dental students and young dental professionals. I had the honor of being interviewed and sharing some of my background and thoughts about the dental profession. Thank you Pedrom for your passion for this podcast project and your leadership and initiative.

Listen to the podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts or Anchor FM.

Thank you to our volunteers who helped with our pop-up vaccine clinic last night and those helping at the vaccine clinic tomorrow for people with disabilities. Thank you also to our students, staff, and faculty who are volunteering for the virtual Dugoni Discovery Day tomorrow. We are very thankful for your willingness to help make these events a success.

I will end our message for today with a reflection on the importance of our thoughts on successful outcomes.

“Whether you think you can or think you cannot, either way you are right.”

Do you know of someone who would make a great member of the Dugoni School family as a student? We recently opened registration for our virtual “Dugoni Discovery Day” annual admissions open house. The event will take place online on Saturday, April 10. Learn more and RSVP. 

Thank you to our volunteers who are helping at tomorrow’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus. This is a second dose clinic for members of the public and some of our internal students and employees who are part of our healthcare programs. We are expecting more than 530 people on campus for this clinic.

In case you missed it in the Positively Pacific newsletter, you can read the article about the vaccination volunteer efforts in San Francisco and Stockton

Please have a great Friday and weekend. We are entering the home stretch of this quarter and I know how hard you all have worked in your studies, patient care, school projects, and support for one other. We are also in the home stretch of marking one year from the time of the initial shelter in place orders. It is amazing to reflect on how we have been through and how much we have grown.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” –John Maxwell

Yesterday, President Callahan sent an update about the fact that undergraduate and graduate programs will remain primarily onlinewhen the new University term starts in January.  I would like to confirm that we continue to stay in touch with our local department of public health, and that the Dugoni School will continue to hold our didactic courses online and provide essential clinical care services in our clinics on site here on campus along with simulation training to prepare students for clinical care.

I would like to call your attention to a webinar taking place today at 9:00 am PT. Closing America's Oral Health Gap is presented by DentaQuest and hosted by Politico. Notable speakers will cover what it will take to improve access and quality of oral health care for Americans, especially for the most vulnerable. Learn more here

I would also like to share some links shared with me yesterday from the COVID-19 Public-Private Partner Dental Coordination Group. I realize this is a lot of information, but there are many developments taking place each day, particularly on the fast-moving topic of vaccine approval and distribution.

FDA Posts the Research Report on the Pfizer Vaccine:  The FDA posted online background material for this week’s upcoming Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) public meeting. The VRBPAC will meet in open session today (December 10), to discuss Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.

December 10, 2020 – FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) Meeting to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, Inc. (livecast)

December 11, 2020 – Deadline for jurisdictions to tell CDC/OWS where they want their second allocations of vaccine to be delivered.

December 17, 2020 – FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) Meeting to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. (live-cast)

HHS Publishes COVID-19 Hospital Facility-Level Data: HHS released new hospital COVID-19 capacity data at the facility level. Previously released data about hospital capacity that had been released was aggregated at the state level. This new, more granular data release aggregates daily hospital reports into a "week at a time" picture to protect patient privacy, while providing a view of how COVID-19 is impacting hospitals and local communities across the country. With this data release, how hospitals are impacted by COVID-19 will be shown on a per-hospital basis, allowing researchers, policy makers, and others to have greater insights into local COVID-19 response efforts. This time series data will update weekly, going back to August 1, 2020.

CombatCovid.hhs.gov is New Portal for Volunteers for Clinical Trials and Convalescent Plasma Donation:  How about a one-stop-shop for encouraging people to consider volunteering for prevention and treatment trials?  This is the place to go for those who either (1) have never had COVID-19 and are interested in participating in a prevention trial, or (2) have recovered from COVID-19 and would consider donating convalescent plasma to help others recover.

Study of Healthcare Workers Shows COVID-19 Immunity Lasts Many Months: NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blogpost about a study among healthcare workers that shows COVID-19 immunity lasts many months. New findings from a study of thousands of healthcare workers in England show that those who got COVID-19 and produced antibodies against the virus are highly unlikely to become infected again, at least over the several months that the study was conducted. In the rare instances in which someone with acquired immunity for SARS-CoV-2 subsequently tested positive for the virus within a six month period, they never showed any signs of being ill.

OSAP Webinars: Thank you to Professor Eve Cuny for your involvement in these webinars!  The Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) is holding a four-part COVID-19 Webinar Series providing specific infection prevention and control information for dental settings. These webinars will be recorded for future access and each will be worth 1 CE hour (ADA CERP Credit), provided through OSAP. The next webinar, COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Assistants, will be held on Friday, December 11, at 4:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm PT. Register here

To end this long update about the advancements of science to help overcome the fear around the pandemic, I thought it appropriate to end with this quote.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ―Marie Curie